LinkedIn continues to work on expanding its revenue potential beyond the recruitment industry, an evolution which we encourage and support — in our view, LinkedIn offers far, far more than just a place to strut your stuff in front of prospective employers.
In this latest development, announced earlier this week, LinkedIn has added a new facility to its Company pages — the ability to add up to 10 free Showcase Pages which (as the name suggests) allow companies to showcase specific products and services.
Yes, you can already have separate product or service pages linked to your Company page, but these new Showcase pages offer two significantly different features:
- Showcase pages attract their own individual followings — they do not inherit any followers from their parent Company pages. For some, that may seem like a negative (“you mean, I’ve put all this effort into building up a following for my company page, now I have to do the same for each individual Showcase page?”), but the reality is that if you provide several products or services that appeal to different target markets, then each product/service can have its own Showcase page with its followers.For example, we’ve just launched a new Mobile Marketing course (details here, if you’re interested: http://mobilemarketing.ac.nz/ecourses), which may not appeal to the same people who are interested in our Social Media or eCommerce courses. We can now encourage those interested in Mobile Marketing to follow our new Mobile Marketing showcase page on LinkedIn.
- Showcase pages have their own Status Update facility. This is the key element that makes Showcase pages worthwhile — you can now post updates specific to an individual product or service (or even topic), and only reach those people who are interested in that topic.Using our Mobile Marketing example again: we can now post mobile-related updates to our Mobile Marketing showcase page followers, without bothering those interested only in social media.
So how do you create Showcase pages?
Glad you asked. First, you must be an Administrator of a Company Page, because all Showcase pages are linked to Company pages.
Secondly, note that the Showcase pages are rolling out around the world this week, so the facility may not be enabled on your page yet (if not, check back again in a day or so).
With those caveats out of the way, head to your Company page — and in particular to the “Edit” button on the right hand side of your Company page. You’ll find the “Create a Showcase page” option at the bottom of the accompanying dropdown menu:
Select that option.
You’ll be prompted to create a title for your Showcase page, and also (optionally) to add Administrators:
A couple of points to note on page title creation:
- The words you choose for your title will also become the permalink for your Showcase page (for example, our selected words above meant that the address for our new page is http://www.linkedin.com/company/the-principles-&-practice-of-mobile-marketing). This has the usual implications for being found in the LinkedIn search engine and via Google, so choose carefully. (NB: LinkedIn advise that they’re not currently offering customizable URLs for Showcase pages, but are exploring the opportunity have this feature available in the future. )
- The title words you choose will also appear over your main image, so shorter is better (we went back and shortened our title once we’d seen what happened to our image). However, if you want to benefit from the longer title in the search engines, you can always edit your title later, as we did.
Next, you’ll be taken to the main Edit page, for you to add:
- a main image (LinkedIn calls it a “hero” image) — this image is not currently clickable
- a short description (at least 75 characters but no more than 200 characters in total)
- a small logo and an even smaller square logo
- a website URL where Showcase page visitors can go for more information
If you think this is minimalist, so do we. Still, the main point of this page is to serve as a rallying point for tightly-targeted updates, so don’t be too perturbed that you can’t include very much on your Showcase pages.
Here are the specs for the images:
- Hero Image: Minimum 974 x 330 pixels. PNG, JPEG, or GIF. Maximum file size 2 MB. You can crop your image once it’s uploaded.
- Logo: 100 x 60 pixels. Image will be resized to fit.
- Square logo: 50 x 50 pixels. Image will be resized to fit.
The process for uploading images is simple enough: click on “Add Image” and follow the instructions, cropping your image as necessary.
Do the same for the logos (which will show up in your updates and search results).
Add in the URL for the website page related to this specific product. You can also choose an industry category for this page (which need not be the same as the category of your Company page) and decide whether or not to display other Showcase pages related to your company.
Once you’ve finished filling out all these details, click on “Publish” and check out the results:
As we said, minimalist. But it’s what you do next that counts:
- Start creating highly-targeted status updates
- Invite relevant LinkedIn contacts to follow you
Got it? Good. Then start creating those Showcase pages. Just remember, though: only create pages that you can feed with highly-targeted content, otherwise you’re just wasting your time.